Imagine there’s no heaven…

When I was a teen, I could not understand why John Lennon’s great song Imagine could create such a stir. It was, I was later informed, a subtle introduction to atheism. Just imagine–no heaven, no afterlife, no judgement, no judge, no need for a savior, no Jesus…nothing that most baby boomers had been raised to believe.

Now, thirty years later, we hear that the fastest growing religious group in America is the “Nones.” These are the people who, when asked about matters of faith and religious affiliation in surveys and censuses, select the answer “none.” More and more people are simply dismissing ideas of a supreme being, higher power, faith, etc.

While many people appear to be newly interested in things spiritual, they are not interested at all in an all-powerful, all-knowing, father-figure on a throne away off in “heaven” somewhere. NPR recently ran a series on the “nones” discussing everything from young believers/non-believers to how atheists grieve. One person in the interview, and I’m not quoting here, just gisting, said that her husband who was killed in an accident was not in a better place, but was in the ground.

When I read this, I Thessalonians 4:13 came immediately to mind: But we do not want you to be ignorant, brothers, about those who have died, so you will not grieve, as those who have no hope. And even though Paul is speaking about death, I also would add that we should not grieve as those who have no hope in life, future, finances, health, God’s will…anything.

I have to agree with the Psalmist: In you oh Lord have I put my hope. (Ps 71)

And the more I pray, the more hope I have.

Go see: www.therealprayer.org

Published in: on January 23, 2013 at 12:25 pm  Leave a Comment  
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A Lunar Eclipse

I am amazed at how people still get uneasy over things like eclipses and such. The ancients were scared out of their wits on regular occasions, thinking that the darkening of the sun or moon were signs of some great calamity, or even the end of the world. But that was long before anyone knew about the clockwork of the cosmos. We now can predict with certainty any cosmic event in our part of the universe.

Now days, the only thing which should frighten us is if something like an eclipse occurred and nobody knew it was coming! Pandemonium would ensue and I can’t imagine the utter chaos which would break out if the sun or moon or Earth somehow got out of place in the heavens.

One of the things we pray for in the Lord’s Prayer is that the Creator’s will be done on Earth as it is in the heavens. Just think about that for a moment. We are asking for the perfection, order, and creativity of the heavens to be replicated in our lives on Earth.

Now that’s something worth praying for.

For a useful  work book on the Lord’s Prayer, go see: www.therealprayer.com

Published in: on June 15, 2011 at 8:37 am  Leave a Comment  
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New Astrological Signs

Not being one to believe in astrology to begin with, I am amazed to see the stir over the shift in the Zodiac. It seems we’ve been WRONG for a few thousand years which means I’m not really an Aquarius–I’m a Capricorn. Now what will really disappoint me is if I start reading the predictions for Capricorns and they actually make sense!

That’s not likely to happen according to a Christian Science Monitor article: http://www.csmonitor.com/Science/2011/0113/New-zodiac-signs-2011-Why-astrology-is-even-sillier-than-we-thought 

If you really want some guidance, start by looking to the creator of the stars, not the stars themselves. As the Lord’s Prayer says, pray “Our Father who is in the heavens.”

Don’t just pray to the heavens.

For and easy to use guide to prayer, go see: www.therealprayer.com

 

Published in: on January 14, 2011 at 10:12 am  Leave a Comment  

as it is in Heaven (or in the heavens)

Here I am, blogging about heaven again. Something about it intrigues me, and not just the prospect of going there someday. I keep thinking about Jesus’ words that tell us that “Eye has not seen, nor the ear heard, nor has it entered into the heart of man, the things God has prepared.” As I have said before: If you can imagine it, that’s not it!

One thing we do know, however, is that it is a place where God’s will is always done. Wherever it is, things run smoothly there. Perhaps things happen at a thought or with the power of pure intention. Maybe things aren’t the struggle they seem to be down here (or out here, or over here, or-wherever.) Maybe it is the place our spirit, or soul, or the ineffable side of our existence came from and we remember somehow when things were right and want to return to that life. Well, that might seem a bit far-fetched for some, but anyway…

However heaven is, we have been told to seek a life here where God’s will is as present and important and real as it is there. I know some church-martyrs who beat their chests and moan about what a trial it is to do God’s will. If I EVER get to the point where I am always doing and experiencing the Creator’s will I won’t be complaining. I think I’ll be the happiest person on Earth.

For a e-workbook on The Lord’s Prayer go see: www.therealprayer.org

Published in: on August 20, 2009 at 3:33 pm  Comments Off on as it is in Heaven (or in the heavens)  
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As it is in Heaven.

As I have written before, my first sight of the Earth from space made me begin to wonder about heaven from an early age. Since it could not be seen from space hovering above the Earth I couldn’t imagine where it could be. “By this time,” I reasoned, “it must be pretty full, not to mention all the angels and such.” Why could I not see it?

Since those days, Heaven with an upper case H has been rightly translated as the heavens and implies more than a huge mansion with an imposing figure sitting on a throne. While I still believe in the Creator which we pretty much universally refer to as “God,” I have discovered that my child-like Sunday School image is primarily the greatest hindrance to my faith.

We seem to be both physical and spiritual, and it is from the spiritual side of ourselves that we can get to know this creator who inhabits the heavens. In this place the creator’s will is what existence is all about, and those thoughts and words are reality. When we pray the Lord’s Prayer, we are seeking an experience where that spiritual reality in the heavens becomes our reality on earth(see previous blog entry.)

Seeing the creator’s spiritual will unfold in our physical lives here and now is the ultimate experience for us. That alone is worth seeking daily in prayer.

An e-workbook for the Lord’s Prayer is available from: www.therealprayer.com

Published in: on May 6, 2009 at 7:53 am  Comments Off on As it is in Heaven.  
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Who art in Heaven…

The summer of 1969 was like science fiction for me. We sat huddled around a little black and white television trying to grasp the notion that one of our fellow Americans was actually up on the moon walking around. My fascination had begun the previous Christmas as I stared at pictures of the Earth as seen from space for the first time. As astronauts wished us Earthlings a Merry Christams, I remember wondering “Where is Heaven?”  I could see the whole Earth hanging there in the blackness of space and there was nothing, and I mean nothing, nearby.

I had always imagined Heaven being up. And if someone died in Australia, their spirit would have to come to the northern hemisphere and then go up from there. So after seeing that little planet which Carl Sagan later referred to as a pale, blue dot,  just hovering there in the blackness of space, I was filled with both wonder and a bit of insecurity. Later, a well meaning adult told me  that Heaven was invisible–what did I expect?

The biblical word for heaven means literally “sky.” One online lexicon even includes the vast expanse of space in its definition. After months of looking and studying later in life, I realized that Jesus’ words about Heaven would have to suffice: Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor has it entered into human imagination the likes of what God has prepared. In short, if you can imagine it, that ain’t it!

When we pray, we need to let go of our child-like images of some white bearded old man on a great throne on top of a cloud. I don’t mean to suggest that all of us have a real picture like this in our minds when we pray, but simply that we to let go of the notion that we can imagine what the Creator is like, or where. Our attempts to define, categorize, imagine, quantify, locate, or any other way antropomorphize our God only hinder our belief and faith.

God is all around us, everywhere, all the time. You can have confidence that you are not ignored.

 

Get the workbook at: http://store.payloadz.com/go?id=241025

Published in: on March 29, 2009 at 6:30 pm  Comments Off on Who art in Heaven…  
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